In order to survive and thrive in today’s competitive startup ecosystem, today’s startup founders and entrepreneurs must do more than just secure the right funding, making the right business connections, or launching the right products or solutions that can help solve problems. The name of the game now is agility, speed, flexibility and decisive action. The successful entrepreneurs and startups of today do not wait for funding to arrive to go ahead with their business; indeed, a huge number of them started out with just an idea and ran away with it, learning how to adapt and change to situations and circumstances as they come along the way.
Agility and speed for startups is not about pushing harder to meet deadlines or motivating the team to finish things faster. Instead, it is about making decisions decisively and following it up with prompt action. Here are some ways to become agile for a successful and quick-acting startup.
In today’s increasingly connected and technology-enabled world, startups do not have to confine themselves to sourcing for talent locally in order to fulfill their needs. If the work can be done remotely, then agile and nimble startups can look for talent all around the world. Besides widening the pool of available talent, hiring remotely also affords startups the opportunity to be highly flexible in their work schedules and to execute tasks with speed, since a workforce that is spread globally can essentially work 24 hours a day by keeping the work processes going when one side of the world is just getting off work. Additionally, an increasing number of talent nowadays consider remote work to be a highly attractive feature as more of them are now valuing flexibility and work-life balance.
Agile startups also get their products or solutions to market quickly by focusing on what is most needed and necessary and then working out the rest based on customer feedback and insights. Instead of waiting to add every conceivable feature to their product or solution before releasing to market – which may cause unnecessary delays – nimble and fast startups focus on releasing in stages in order to gauge the market’s reaction and to gather market insights for determining where they will go from there. They also minimize the risk of unnecessary spending by not putting all their eggs in one basket. With a release that comes in controlled stages, startups are also able to act more nimbly to accommodate any warranted changes as opposed to a large release which may complicate efforts for change.
Agile startups are also proactive in their approach to marketing and selling. Instead of waiting for their product or solution to be released before speaking to potential customers, they are already building meaningful relationships with them beforehand to spread awareness and to gather valuable insights. Just as well, startups that are still developing their products or solutions should take the initiative to interact with their important stakeholders such as potential investors and partners to get the ball rolling so as to accomplish things faster.
Startups that are flexible, agile and decisive in their decision-making tend to dominate new markets as they usually have the advantage of being the first mover. If things are headed their way, they press forward to seize the advantage. If circumstances are not favourable, they adapt and respond accordingly as needed.